Newsletter‎ > ‎


KlezCalifornia promotes and celebrates Yiddish culture in the San Francisco Bay Area

Spring is here and 
Peysakh (Passover) begins Friday night!L'kovid (in honor of) Peysakh, check out two traditional Yiddish Seder songs, Di Fir Kashes (The Four Questions) and Mu Asapru (Who Knows One?), whose words are HERE

Listen to boys chanting Di Fir Kashes HERE (traditional melody) and HERE. Download Theodore Bikel singing Mu Asapru HERE.Don't miss the Rube Goldberg Seder created by students at the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology HERE. And be sure to hear cantor Moishe Oisher's Khad Gadya HERE. A zisn peysakh alemen! A sweet Passover to everyone!
Enjoy these images from Di Megileh of Itzik Manager, presented in March by The New Yiddish Theater, a fiscally-sponsored project of KlezCalifornia:

Akhashveyrush, the King (Linda Hirschhorn) out for a night on the town.    Esther (Heather Klein) sings, watched by Vashti, the Queen (Eliana Kissner), Fanfoseh, a Master Tailor (Gerry Tenney), and Haman (Josiah Polhemus)

Enjoy these images from the three klezmer dance workshops and Finale music and dance party with dance leader Steve Weintraub at the Jewish Music Festival. These four events were co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia.

Bottle dance (Susan Felix with bottle, baby without)                                                                                    
Circle dance Steve Weintraub in back on left                                                                                       
Photos by Allen Stross, Master of Photography.

Speaking of Festivals, the next KlezCalifornia Yiddish Culture Festival will be November 7-8 at the JCC East Bay. Put it on your calendar now!


-- Submissions for the May newsletter HERE by April 24.
-- KlezCalifornia Geleh* Pages (*yellow), directory of Bay Area resources: Geleh Pages 
-- Online sources of Yiddish-inspired culture: KlezCal online resources
-- Klezmer musicians looking for others: KlezCal want ads

Facebook rectangle 
In This Issue
Yiddish for Beginners, Fridays starting April 10
Community Events
On the Web
Farshidns (This 'n That)
Coming in May
Support KlezCalifornia
Yiddish for Beginners, Fridays starting April 10


Beginning Friday, April 103:00-5:00pm, for 12 sessions, Yiddish for Beginners, led by Rochelle Goldman. Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ringof Northern California invites you to have fun learning to speak, read and write. Co-sponsored by KlezCalifornia. No charge but reserving a space is required. More info: 650.577.1531roshnman[at]  

At Main Public Library, SAN FRANCISCO 

Community Events 


At local theaters: Deli-Man (film). Learn about the traditions that make deli one of America's great cuisines. Includes the Bay Area's Wise Sons Jewish Deli! More info:
At Landmark Opera Plaza and 4 Star, SAN FRANCISCO
At Elmwood, BERKELEY
At Rialto 9, SEBASTOPOL  


Wednesday, April 1 - Tuesday, September 1, Jews and Cartooning (exhibition). Opening receptionFriday, April 10, 5:00pm, followed by Shabes services at 6:00pm. No charge. More info:  

At Temple Emanu-El, SAN FRANCISCO


Saturday, April 4, Secular Seder (including Yiddish readings and songs). Presented by Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring. Tickets: $32. Must reserve by April 1. Limited seating. More info:650.577.1531roshnman[at]

At Impact Hub, SAN FRANCISCO. 


Wednesday, April 87:00-9:00pm, Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. More info: 510.849.1100,
At Le Bateau Ivre Café/Restaurant, BERKELEY

Friday, April 10, The Gonifs (9:00pm), Veretski Pass (10:00pm), Ghost Note Ensemble (11:00pm). 
Monthly Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal. Tickets: $10-$15 sliding scale at the door. More
At The Starry Plough Pub, BERKELEY

Sunday, April 1212:40-5:00pm, 6th Jazz & Klez Summit, 
with Congregation Netivot Shalom's Jazzkleztet (12:40pm), Albany Jazz Band (1:40pm), Ghost Note Ensemble (2:50pm), Jazzschool Big Band (4:00pm). First and third bands include klezmer. Tickets: $10 general / $5 youth at the door There are a few slots for those who can volunteer for an hour at the event in exchange for a free ticket; contact Dan at 510.684.5580. More info: 510.684.5580.   

At Congregation Netivot Shalom, BERKELEY

Sunday, April 123:00-5:00pmLieder fun a Kabtsn (Songs of a Beggar)
, premiere of a song cycle based on Rabbi Edward Zerin's book, "A Tribute to my Teacher, Rabbi Simon Krinsky." Composed by Dr. Michael Isaacson and performed by Cantor Roslyn Barak with pianist Ronny Michael Greenberg. Reception follows. More info:

At Temple Emanu-El, SAN FRANCISCO


Monday, April 136:00-8:00pm, Ghost Note Ensemble. Klezmer Mondays. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More info:
At Saul's Restaurant & Deli, BERKELEY

Wednesdays, April 15 - May 131:00-3:00 pm, History of the Jews of Poland 1772 to the present,taught by Ken Blady. Part of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Francisco State University. Tuition: $95. More info: 415.817.4243HERE

At San Francisco State University's Downtown Campus, SAN FRANCISCO 


Thursday, April 16 for four more weeks, 7:00-8:30pm, They Tried To Kill Us, They Failed, Let's Laugh: Jewish Humor From Torah to Transparent. With humor meyvens Rabbi Sydney Mintz and Judi Leff. Class began March 19. Tuition: $50 general / $36 Emanu-El members. More info:415.751.2535HERE

At Temple Emanu-El, SAN FRANCISCO


Sunday, April 192:00-4:00pm, Yiddish songs performed by Gale Kissin and Suzanne Shanbaum, part of Sonoma County Yom HaShoah Ve-Hagevurah commemoration ceremony entitled "Gevurah: Heroes Sung and Unsung." Presented by the JCC of Sonoma County. No charge. More info: 707.528.4222HERE.
At The Friedman Center, SANTA ROSA.

Sunday, April 19, 4:00pm, Yes We Sang! with Nigunim Community Chorus, Kol Truah Jewish Choir of the East Bay, and Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco. Dedicated to the victims of theKhurbn/ Holocaust and includes Yiddish songs. Tickets: $10 general / no charge seniors, children. More info: 510.528.8872mail[at]



Monday, April 206:00-8:00pm, Three-year anniversary of Klezmer Mondays at Saul's, bands TBD. Entertainment free with minimum $10 purchase. More info: 510.848.3354,
At Saul's Restaurant & Deli, BERKELEY  


Wednesday, April 227:00-8:00pm, Klezmer Creek performance followed by jam. FourthWednesday Klezmer Nights. Entertainment free with $5 minimum purchase. More info: 707.544.2491,

At Gaia's Garden, SANTA ROSA   


Thursday, April 23, 8:00pm, Yiddish Night Live!, a new music comedy show with The Kvetchy Cowboys Gerry Tenney and Arje Shaw. Performed in Yiddish but you don't need to known Yiddish to enjoy it. Featuring Yiddish versions of A Hard Day's Night, Willie Nelson's Meshugeh, Romania, Abbott & Costello's baseball shtik, Who's on First, and more. Tickets: $20 general / $15 seniors, 

children, JCC members HERE or make a reservation at arjeshaw[at] More info: HERE



Sunday, April 26, 12:00noon-4:00pm, Mama Loshn performs Yiddish and Klezmer at SimchaSunday, Sonoma County's Jewish Cultural Festival. Free admission. More info: 707.528.4222HERE
At Santa Rosa Veterans Building, SANTA ROSA  


Until Sunday, May 24, Letters to Afar (video installation), by filmmaker and video-artist Péter Forgács along with The Klezmatics. Revisit movies made by Jewish immigrants from the U.S. who visited their hometowns in Poland during the 1920-30s. Forgács rewrites these "visual postcards." Tickets: Included in museum admission ($12 general / $10 seniors, students / $5 Thursdays after5:00pm / no charge 18 and under). More info: 415.655.7800HERE.  
At Contemporary Jewish Museum, SAN FRANCISCO
Until Sunday, May 24, Poland and Palestine: Two Lands and Two Skies (exhibition). After the death of Ze'ev Aleksandrowicz in 1992, his family discovered over 15,000 negatives made in the
1930s telling stories about the relationship between these two worlds, full of contrasts and  
contradictions. Tickets: Included in museum admission ($12 general / $10 seniors, students / $5  
Thursdays after 5:00pm / no charge 18 and under). More info: 415.655.7800HERE.  
At Contemporary Jewish Museum, SAN FRANCISCO 

On the Web


Sweet five-minute documentary HERE about two Holocaust survivors in Florida who recently formed their own klezmer band.  


Interesting information about Yiddish, on Jewish Language Research Website HERE (thanks to Rivka Greenberg). 


Interview with renowned actress Molly Picon in Yiddish HERE (thanks to Ralph Propper).


Jewish English Lexicon, a collaborative database of distinctive words that are used in the speech or writing of English-speaking Jews HERE (thanks to Stevanne Auerbach).  


Yiddish sheet music, 1895-1950, in the Library of Congress HERE.


Learn Yiddish on the web (via Google Hangout) with Paula Teitelbaum at
Farshidns (This 'n That)


Calling all Yiddish speakers on the Peninsula: We are reviving the Yiddish Salon on the Peninsula! As before, it will be for Yiddish speakers at all levels. If you are interested, please contact415.789.7679peninsula[at]

Proverb of the month:  You can't dance at two weddings with one behind (Mit eyn tokhes ken men nit tantsn af tsvey khasenes). 

Coming in May

Sunday, May 32:00-4:00pm, KlezCalifornia Flisik Yidisheh Salon. For fluent Yiddish speakers. We will discuss stories of motherhood, alteh fakhen (old time professions), and clean jokes. No charge. More info: 415.789.7679flisik[at]

At a private home in SAN FRANCISCO


Sunday, May 3, 2:00pm, Poland: A New Jewish Frontier, a presentation by Ellie Shapiro.

No charge. More info: 415.567.3327,  HERE.

At Jewish Community Library, SAN FRANCISCO


Thursday, May 7, 7:00pm, Exploring Chazonus, a presentation by Jeremiah Lockwood. No 

charge. More info: 415.567.3327HERE.

At Jewish Community Library, SAN FRANCISCO


Friday, May 8, Orchestra Euphonos and other bands. Monthly Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal. Tickets: $10-$15 sliding scale at the door. More info:

At The Starry Plough Pub, BERKELEY  

Saturday, May 23, dusk - Sunday, May 24, dawn, "Like your weekends? Thank a Yiddish speaker," with Karen K. Bergen. 
Presented by KlezCalifornia as part of Tikn Leyl Shevuis (Tikkun Leyl Shavuot), a community-wide celebration and night of Torah study and more. No charge. More info: 847.606.0744.


Sunday, May 31, 4:00pm, Sharon Bernstein presents a Yiddish folk song cycle, Froyenlibe un Lebn (Women's Lives and Loves). Program also includes Brahms and Faure. Music in the Mishkan series. Tickets: $20 general / $15 Shaar Zahav members. More info: 415.861.6932,

At Congregation Shaar Zahav, SAN FRANCISCO

SupportKlezCaliforniaSupport KlezCalifornia
With a gift of any amount to KlezCalifornia, you become a Contributing Member and you may post a message of up to 100 words on our web Honor Wall for one year. This is a fine way to honor a loved one or teacher or to write about your own Yiddish heritage.

Chai imageDonors of $54 (3 chai/khay) or more may choose one of four "thank you" gifts: * "Live and Be Well, A Celebration of Yiddish Culture in America," by Richard F. Shepard and Vicki Gold Levi (192 pp.) * "The Oy Way," a 115-page book by Harvey Gotliffe, which helps you learn Yiddish expressions while engaging in meditative exercise. See * DVD of the wonderful 80-minute "Yiddish Theater: A Love Story" ( * Eight beautiful, brightly-colored, 5"x7" music-themed greeting cards designed by Sonoma County artist Nina Bonos (see HERE).

Your donations help KlezCalifornia keep Bay Area Yiddish culture and community vibrant and thriving. Plaus, you'll be invited to two special KlezCalifornia parties each year. Make your tax-deductible donation via credit card HERE or with a check to KlezCalifornia at 1728 Allston Way, Berkeley 94703.A sheynem dank! Thank you very much!